Weather… for the Love of Surfing

Hang ten in The Palm Beaches

The Palm Beaches are popular for beachgoers who enjoy calm, warm ocean waters, but adventure lovers who crave action say the destination’s waves are also ideal for surf enthusiasts who seek the perfect swell. Two West Palm Beach surfers love the sport so much, they’ve made their careers out of forecasting the weather conditions that contribute to the best surf.

“There’s nothing in the world like surfing,” says James Wieland, a meteorologist for WPTV NewsChannel 5. “My first surfing attempt was off the coastline of Boca Raton, and I was immediately hooked. I grew up riding the waves of South Florida. The experience brings you closer to nature than anything.”

Wieland surfs off the coast of Palm Beach
Photo courtesy Jeff Biege

Wieland made his Twitter and Instagram handles @SurfnWeatherman, and he uses social media to keep viewers informed about the weather while showcasing the natural beauty of The Palm Beaches’ coastline.

Wieland forecasts at WPTV NewsChannel 5

 Wieland says you can also see marine wildlife nearby. "You can see a lot of manatees in the winter," he says. "We had some hang out with us for a while before moving on."

“The water here is crystal clear, and the waves stay warm all year round,” Wieland says. “I know how lucky I am to be able to surf regularly here.”

James showcases beaches on his Instagram and Twitter accounts @SurfnWeatherman

“Surfing made me aware of the weather, water temperature, tides, moon cycles, and even shifts in the sand,” he continues. “When light offshore winds blow from the shore, The Palm Beaches have amazing surf that’s as good as anywhere else in the world.”
Wieland says his favorite beach in the north end of Palm Beach. “It's where I asked my wife to marry me,” he explains. “It's secluded, and the water is always clear and blue. Plus, when there’s a good swell for surfing, it's magical!”

Water temperatures stay in the 80s from May to November, and barely drop below 70 in the winter, thanks to The Palm Beaches’ closeness to the Gulf Stream current. It’s those warm temperatures that Kimberly Miller, weather reporter for The Palm Beach Post, enjoys the most about surfing in The Palm Beaches.

“You rarely have to wear a wet suit, and it’s a beginner-friendly area,” she says. “If you learn to surf on our waves, you can surf anywhere.”

Miller surfs off the coast of Palm Beach

Miller says the northern part of Palm Beach County is especially popular with surfers since that part of the beach is not blocked by the Bahamas.

Miller explains weather at The Palm Beach Post

She highlights hot surfing spots on her Instagram account, which is full of ocean photos taken during her surfing adventures.

Miller shares beach scenery on her Instagram @kmillerweather

“There was a massive swell in 2012 where a local professional surfer, Peter Mendia, made the cover of Surfer Magazine on a wave off Singer Island,” she recalls. “People often think Florida doesn’t have great surf, but The Palm Beaches are proof that’s not true – our waves are world-class.”
Miller encourages those who are interested in learning the sport to consider surf lessons, or to even try paddleboarding. “Paddleboarding is a great option for someone who wants to enjoy calmer waters. As for surfing, when we get a swell, it’s fantastic,” she says. “This area is absolute paradise for water sports.”

Surfing shops and rentals in The Palm Beaches:
Blueline Surf & Paddle Co. – Jupiter, Florida
Island Water Sports – Lake Worth, Florida
BC Surf & Sport – Wellington, Florida
Groundswell Surf Shop – Juno Beach, Florida
Rogue Wave Surf Boutique – Boca Raton, Florida
Paddleboarding shops and rentals in The Palm Beaches:
Visit Palm Beach – West Palm Beach, Florida
Jupiter Outdoor Center – Jupiter, Florida
Singer Island Outdoor Center – Riviera Beach, Florida

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